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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 Aug 25;11234:E4752-61. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1505291112.
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Coexistence of Y, W, and Z sex chromosomes in Xenopus tropicalis.

Roco ÁS , Olmstead AW , Degitz SJ , Amano T , Zimmerman LB , Bullejos M .

Homomorphic sex chromosomes and rapid turnover of sex-determining genes can complicate establishing the sex chromosome system operating in a given species. This difficulty exists in Xenopus tropicalis, an anuran quickly becoming a relevant model for genetic, genomic, biochemical, and ecotoxicological research. Despite the recent interest attracted by this species, little is known about its sex chromosome system. Direct evidence that females are the heterogametic sex, as in the related species Xenopus laevis, has yet to be presented. Furthermore, X. laevis' sex-determining gene, DM-W, does not exist in X. tropicalis, and the sex chromosomes in the two species are not homologous. Here we identify X. tropicalis' sex chromosome system by integrating data from (i) breeding sex-reversed individuals, (ii) gynogenesis, (iii) triploids, and (iv) crosses among several strains. Our results indicate that at least three different types of sex chromosomes exist: Y, W, and Z, observed in YZ, YW, and ZZ males and in ZW and WW females. Because some combinations of parental sex chromosomes produce unisex offspring and other distorted sex ratios, understanding the sex-determination systems in X. tropicalis is critical for developing this flexible animal model for genetics and ecotoxicology.

PubMed ID: 26216983
PMC ID: PMC4553762
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: dm-w nudt16

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Bachtrog, Sex determination: why so many ways of doing it? 2014, Pubmed